Basquiat asks the poet about Death

At a rooftop party, the night is the night, and we are watching death.
Or should I say Bruce Willis is walking barefoot in a skyscraper? I wish
I had taken a picture. The host, some news caster you would recognise
from TV, has hired a firm to project the film onto the hotel wall across
the street. My date has just returned from the bathroom. I am her plus
one. Pointing to the open bar, I can feel the suns heat reflecting off
the building. She has me speaking in my fourth language but my thoughts
have us undressed in my first. By the pool a waiter asks Are you ready
to order? You recommend the pad Thai with chicken for two and
if they are out of that you say we will go for the snapper with a snake
bean salad. DJ Shadow is connecting speakers to his decks when
his left elbow knocks the Blood Orange Champagne Mule to the concrete
Even falling has its grace. Bruce Willis is at the top of the Nakatomi building
ready to face a paradox – terrorists intend to blow it up – a building burning
is a way of saying – you’re not welcome here. The waiter returns with our
cutlery – I can see my country in the steel with only weeks to go before
it is bankrupt. As if I needed the reminder of how one can be in two places at once.

uncollected poem, © Nick Makoha 2021, used by permission of the author

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Nick Makoha is the author of 'The Lost Collection of an Invisible Man' (Flipped Eye Publishing, 2005), ‘The Second Republic’ (Slapering ...